Child custody disputes can be very difficult for everyone involved – especially the children. You can imagine the pain of having two parents go through a tough and troubling time full of arguments, fighting and strife and how much stress it places on the child, who is often caught in the middle.
Understanding what it’s like for children, a judge in Minnesota named Michael Haas penned a short letter to divorcing parents back in 2001. Given their import, we wanted to share them with you:
“Your children have come into this world because of the two of you. Perhaps you two made lousy choices as to whom you decided to be the other parent. If so, that is your problem and your fault.
No matter what you think of the other party – or what your family thinks of the other party – these children are one-half of each of you. Remember that, because every time you tell your child what an ‘idiot’ his father is, or what a ‘fool’ his mother is, or how bad the absent parent is, or what terrible things that person has done, you are telling the child half of him is bad.
That is an unforgivable thing to do to a child. That is not love. That is possession. If you do that to your children, you will destroy them as surely as if you had cut them into pieces, because that is what you are doing to their emotions.
I sincerely hope that you do not do that to your children. Think more about your children and less about yourselves, and make yours a selfless kind of love, not foolish or selfish, or your children will suffer.”
There is no reason why a parting of the ways has to involve putting your children in the cross-hairs. As sophisticated problem solvers, we work with our clients to find a way forward, a path to life after divorce that will promote positive co-parenting relationships and focus on protecting your children’s interests.
If you have children and are going through divorce, we hope you will remember Judge Haas’ words. Your children will thank you for it later.